Even as the Chandigarh Housing Board is busy giving itself a pat on the back, the second day of the auction of commercial properties turned out to be worse than the first one. Not even a single property was auctioned. While one person deposited the earnest money, he withdrew it before the auction could start.
However, the CHB has decided to go ahead with the auction on the third day as well.
A total of 145 booths and bay shops have been put up for auction by the CHB. On Wednesday, only two sites had found takers. The site in Sector 38 (W) was auctioned for Rs 61.13 lakh while another site at Manimajra was auctioned for Rs 60.25 lakh. Apart from these, no other site found any takers.
However, CHB secretary Mandeep Kaur had termed the auction a success. She had also stated that they would carry on with the auction for all three days as was initially proposed. The auction is scheduled to be held from February 5 to 7.
It was empty chairs that greeted officials as they gathered on the CHB premises for the auction. The staff waited in vain for people to turn up. The lone person who deposited the bid amount took the money back before the process could start. An amount of Rs 2 lakh is to be deposited as earnest money for a person to participate in the auction.
Booths and bay shops that were up for auction were situated in sectors 38 (W), 40, 49, 51 and 61 as well as Manimajra. There was also a restaurant site in Manimajra that was to be auctioned. Most of the booths have been lying vacant for around a decade since these were constructed. An auction held earlier in the year 2009 had also flopped with none of the sites finding any takers.
The poor response to the auction is being blamed by traders on the fact that the properties are being auctioned on a leasehold basis. The traders state that even though people would be interested in investing in the city, the property to be auctioned should be on a freehold basis. On the leasehold property, there is a need for paying 2.5 per cent ground rent every year. In addition, service tax is also required to be paid this year.